How Tory Lanez and Joyner Lucas are bringing real rap battling back
“Fat ass L.” That was the verdict Toronto rapper Tory Lanez declared after the latest exchange between him and the “I Am Not A Racist” rapper, Joyner Lucas.
Over the past week, the two artists have been jousting in what has been one of the most entertaining rap beefs in recent memory, with the most recent jab coming this past Wednesday (Nov 21st) when Lucas picked Kodak’s “Zeze” to freestyle over.
That following Thursday (Nov 22nd) Tory took to his Instagram to give a real-time reaction to the record, dissecting the freestyle piece by piece to the almost 9K watching. At one point the Tory even stopped the song for commentary saying:
“How come you couldn’t follow in my steps and be a dancer? Time out. Did this n***a just say, ‘Why couldn’t you follow in my footsteps and be a dancer?”
“I’m sorry. I’m confused. It’s bad enough that you a light-skin, pretty boy ass n***a, but don’t come here talking about how you was a dancer before we pull up the fun facts on your dumbass.”
Lanez went on to explain that he won the second round in which they both freestyled over “Litty”:
“I dissed your pops music career; I said he had a failed music career that he gave to his son; I came for your personal life; I came for your city; I came for a lot of things, my n***a. You came back with things that weren’t facts.”
The whole thing started when Tory Lanez told a fan that Lucas couldn’t f*** with him “not on no level, period”, which, as you can imagine, prompted a challenge from Joyner.
Lucas shared a clip of Tory’s Instagram Live session and told the Canadian artist that they should let fans decided “who ain’t fucking with who.” He said in a now-deleted Instagram post.
“@torylanez if your so confident my guy, let’s pick a beat. you spit your hardest bars over it and il do the same. We’ll let the people decide who ain’t fucking with who. Then we will pick a date and time and you present your version and I’m present my version, ” he wrote.
“If you’re not willing to step up and accept my proposal then don’t ever say no silly shit like “bar for bar Joyner Lucas ain’t fucking with me” ever again in your life. He added, “I love the confidence but stop it bro”
After seeing that challenge Tory struck first, rapping over Lucas’s and Eminem’s “Lucky You” record. Joyner later responded with his rendition of Tory’s “Litty Again”, eventually leading to Tory’s bombshell of a verse over “Litty Again” as well.
Lucas’s “Zeze” freesyle seems to be the cumlimnation of this challenge but it has attracted many.
Many of their peers in hip-hop and just fans in general respect what they’ve been doing by bringing hip-hop back to its competitive nature with some real battling.
I love this Tory Lanez vs. Joyner Lucas shit!!! This is Hip Hop!!!
— Fabolous (@myfabolouslife) November 21, 2018
2-0 @torylanez . Joyner Lucas is still my guy though. Good battle so far.
— Glen Powell Jr. (@Glenjr88) November 22, 2018
Yeah, disparinging remarks and lowblows at careers were taken. Parents were spoken about and appearances were shamed — but it was riveting.
And most of all, they kept it as a sport, laughing and talking to each other between shots. Lucas even laughed saying “let’s make a record together” after one his most scathing versus.
It’s all love with Tory Lanez and Joyner Lucas. This is already a fire exhibition.
— Protect your Mental (@_Unique_Mind) November 21, 2018
We’ve seen beefs before. In fact, dare I say, we’ve seen too many. What Tory and Joyner are doing should in no ways be considered beef.
Of course Joyner’s mentor, Eminem, who also signed him to his label, was in a bit of a rap beef/battle earlier this summer too with Machine Gun Kelly.
Then we all remember Drake and Pusha-T’s dispute that went out of control. What started off as a back and forth of words has resulted in 40, a man living with the fatal disease MS, being dissed and fights breaking out at Pusha-T’s Toronto show.
Drake sending goons to throw liquids at Pusha T? pic.twitter.com/hANJbbyKaF
— Jill Squat (@MikoAriel) November 21, 2018
Cardi B and Nicki Minaj are two more very popular figures in hip-hop who skipped the whole rapping part altogether to throw heels and talk on radio shows.
And we still aren’t sure who shot Young Dolph, although he’s notoriously been feuding with fellow Memphis rapper Yo Gotti.
Keep in mind, rap beef doesn’t always really showcase who’s better lyrically either — some of the godfathers of the genre taken Ls when it came to battling.
The truth is beef in hip-hop is never going to go away and it shouldn’t. However, in recent years, people forgot what this really means.
With a few artists “crossing the line,” talking about each other’s families and inner circles — making it more personal than it needs to be — Tory and Joyner are reminding us what rap beef, battling, or whatever you want to call it is supposed to be.
When it’s kept in the boundaries of the sport, and not spiteful, is when it’s the best.